Every word of God is tested, He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him

“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” Proverbs 30:5

At some point, anything other than God Himself can become an idol… they all reach the point of idolatry.

Your salvation is your relationship with God. Trials are designed by Him to get you to run to Him and humbly submit to His will.

When we run to Him instead of anyone or anything else, we get what we need: grace, mercy, peace, protection, blessing– a shield.

What are common refuges in your life? In what way do these refuges replace God?

Need a Way

“…for the waywardness of the naïve will kill them and the complacency of fools will destroy them.” Proverbs 1:32

No way = no path, no discipline, no schedule, no goal, no plan, no course, no mode, no method

Complacent = I have all the time in the world, I can do it later, It’s not urgent, I forgot a crucial piece. The think that it is ok to be foolish in the way that you are working.

Simple minded; at best flitting from one thing to another; at worst just not going anywhere, spinning one’s wheels.

So as a Christian, I must have a way. My way is Jesus Christ, a person who is also the way. He is the way, the truth, the life.

Fisher of men.

Accomplished through teaching, restoring what was broken, prays in the morning, needs healing. Compassion.

Dads

In this article, I discuss two verses in scripture that revolve around the issue of the father of the household’s children.

In so many different ways in our culture, the father (dad) gets little respect. For the most part, that lack of honoring, and at times downright hostility, is actually deserved. There are two main components that will be necessary in order to be the kind of Dad that the Lord wants us to be. The first is compassion and the second is willingness to listen.

“Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:13

“Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,” 1 Timothy 5:1

A compassionate father considers the reality of the situation that he is dealing with in his children. He knows their faults and shortcomings, but he also remembers that they are children. He remembers that they haven’t lived as much life as he has, and he considers his own weaknesses in being alive and a sinner. Though redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, he still sins at different times and in different ways.

Although he is the standard bearer and the ‘buck stops with’ him, he remembers that his children need grace, mercy and kindness, just as he himself would want it in the same type of situation if he were in it.

As an exercise, try to imagine yourself as being in your child’s shoes, but instead of it being the current situation at hand, imagine it as being with your own boss / employer / client. How would you want them to respond toward you if you had completed the same type of action that your child (just) did? How would you want them to handle it? What would you want them to say and do?

Next, the father is a listener. More than merely the sounds of the words bouncing off of your ears, being a listener is an active process, with the goal of seeking to understand the thing that is being brought up… not necessarily to defend oneself from the accusation, but simply to understand.

We should be able to understand the things that have created the situation as it is. Additionally, we should try to take the time to understand the emotional response of those who are in it. We should take into consideration the various interpersonal relational dynamics involved in the situation. We then should remember that we are also human and sinners.

While peace is important and generally it isn’t worth losing a relationship about a certain issue, whatever it is, it is also important to keep a firm grasp on the truth of the situation, regardless of what it is. If the failure is perceptual, apologizing may not be a bad way to deal with it. Sometimes, simply acknowledging your human propensity to sin may go a long way in setting things right-side up again.

Regardless, you need to indicate to the person bringing the concern up that you understand the dynamics, as well as the ramifications of your actions. You should try to minimize the effects if at all possible and even return things to the state they were before.

So much of what we do in this life revolves around the issue of cleaning up messes- those of our own and those of others. We want to be sure to do a good job, and thereby leave a lasting legacy of trust and faithfulness to the future generations, and especially to those of our own household.

Notification for Subscribers

Hello Everyone…

In January, we will be migrating your information to our email service provider, where you will have the opportunity to opt in of cancel.

We are taking this step to insure that the highest quality content goes to those who are actual people who have signed up, and not spam bots or other programs.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.

Best regards,

Charles Matthews

The Political Responsibility of the Christian – How to be a Good Citizen

Summary of the article: If you are a Christian, it is your responsibility to be a good citizen. Being a good citizen in the United States at least means voting according to your conscience as informed by God’s Word (soundly interpreted), and at most running for and faithfully executing an office you are led to govern in. It also includes anything in-between as is fitting and appropriate with your priorities and responsibilities.

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matthew 28:18

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

The United States is unique in history and in function.

No other government has come into existence that began with the idea that people are created by God, and thereby have rights that He has given.

As an explanation of the existence of government in the first place and as a necessary corollary, the rights of the people, given by God, give governments their legitimacy in that people establish the governments and people are made in God’s image. God thereby establishes all governments that have come and gone implicitly by virtue of the fact that people are making them, and directly through His providential ordering of every circumstance that occurs, regardless of the relative evil or goodness of the individuals involved.

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1

We, as the source of the ‘power’ of the government of the United States, therefore have responsibilities in insuring that the government runs as it has been designed to do. This is the ‘eternal vigilance’ that others have spoken of when it comes to the need to hold elected leaders accountable for their decisions.

Since we are in a constitutional republican form of a democracy, it is our responsibility to check up on our representatives. The founders of our nation formed a government with a system of checks and balances. Therefore, you have to be checking up on them… even as you would check on an employee or one of your children, you are to be insuring that those whom you elect or those who are elected by others wherever you live are doing their jobs.

Part of why you have to do this is that the scripture is true… the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, and that the wicked person can’t sleep until he has plotted some type of evil plan in order to overthrow the righteous.

“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

“He plans wickedness upon his bed; He sets himself on a path that is not good; He does not despise evil.” Psalm 36:4

“For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble.” Proverbs 4:16

The wicked people will do this, all the while thinking that they are doing something that is beneficial to you and to others and to themselves, especially. It is the responsibility of the righteous people to overthrow the wicked people. It is the duty of those who are good to oppose evil in all of its various forms, especially within the God appointed means of redressing complaints against the government through the series of checks and balances that exist in our structure of Government.

Because the people are the source of the earthly ‘power’ of the government, for the people to be able to do their jobs rightly and adequately, it is necessary for the people to be able to be literate and to be able to understand  the regulations that they subject themselves to. And because our form of government is not a pure ‘democracy’, but ‘representative’, we depend on the work of others in order to govern ourselves. Others may or may not be morally oriented toward actual good or actual evil. Regardless, the people in positions of authority at times do not tell the truth.

Since lying is the primary way, in our form of government, of bringing about evil plans, it is necessary to have our rights protected. A person telling the truth about their plans that would be evil will easily be noticed and ‘called out’ by a vigilant public.

In some ways, we wish that the people who don’t like our system of government, the constitution, and the bill of rights… our government… should go to some other place. But, it is naïve to think that they will, or that it is a solution in the first place, because these evil people think that it is their job to enlighten us to the ‘error of our ways’ and bring about systems of government in order to supplant our own government, and bring about unrighteous rules and unjust regulations in order to entrap and enslave us. The modern rendition of this supplanting is the progressive movement, started by Woodrow Wilson and continued on both sides of the aisle by both Republicans and Democrats who share their ideologies.

They don’t care about the goodness or justice of the law, what they are really concerned about is controlling people, and making sure that they are on top and that you are on the bottom.

What should we do in this type of a situation?

Well, we need to think a few things and do a few things.

  1. Vote – It is your responsibility to do so.
  2. Remember…this is nothing new. People have always had to defend themselves against evil.
  3. Defense against evil requires vigilance, in that the evil people are plotting on their beds at night in order to try to determine a way to defeat the righteous.
  4. Accountability – you need to know what your elected officials are doing, what they are voting on, and how the things they are voting on either match or don’t match the constitution. You need to be in touch with them.
  5. You need to regularly let them know how you want them to vote on whatever legislation is coming ‘down the pike’. You also need to know what that legislation is.
  6. There will at times be some things you can’t stand for and that they should not allow. It becomes necessary for you to take a stand in whatever way you can. This may mean a simple email. it could mean a letter. It could mean a face to face meeting. It could mean litigation.
  7. Realize that prophetically, there will come a time prior to Christ’s return, when whatever power the righteous people have will be completely broken. Whenever that happens, look up! Jesus is about to return! We will eventually be in such a mess that His return is the only way that we can get out of it… not by our own doing, but by way of the evil people who are doing evil things.

That being said, you should not give way to evil and allow it to run its course. It is always the job of responsible people to oppose evil; not embrace it and not to call it good.

As a function of His mercy, he provided the forefathers with enough regard for His word for them to include in our Constitution a way of making change without revolt and revolution. That way is Article V of the Constitution, and the headway that various movements are having with a view toward its use is encouraging. Check out this link and see for yourself the nature of what is trying to be addressed…

May God be merciful to us as we head into this election, and all elections. And, it is critical that we plead for mercy for our lives and those of our wives and children… that God would have mercy and grace on us so that we would be able to live quiet lives, and that the Gospel would spread rapidly.

Getting Ready for Christ’s Return

This post will address the things you should be considering and doing in preparation for Jesus’s imminent return.

It has been about two thousand years since He was here. There are many troubles in the world which seem to be escalating at a more intense pace. Seems rather likely that these events are like labor pains… you know – they start out mild at first. If they are real pains, they don’t diminish in frequency or intensity, rather they increase. He said that when it was close to the time of His return, that it would be similar to a woman in labor:

“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” Matthew 24:8

Without getting into a debate about eschatology (the study of the end times), I want to address a practical issue in this post- what should we as Christians be doing, minimally, to be ready for His return?

When I say ‘minimally’, I say that to address the possibility that the Christians won’t go through the tribulation. If we won’t go through the tribulation, the next thing that we will be doing is meeting Jesus Christ in the clouds.

If at all possible, I want to be ready for that meeting, especially before I start stockpiling cans of beans and all of the other survival tactics that are being sold out there :)

The following is a list of things you want to make sure that you are doing or have done in preparation for His return:

  • Do your work as unto God, not as man pleasers – God is your ultimate audience and Christ is your judge. You need to do your work as if He was standing there watching you. The reality of the situation is that He actually is. You need to get especially ‘lazy’ and neglect doing things that don’t bring value to your employer. Give your employer an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. If you haven’t been doing this kind of work, you need to repent – change and do the right thing.
  • Love your wife as Christ Loves the Church – The reason Christ is coming back is to get His church (John 14:3). His church is His bride. Do you want your meeting Christ to be a joyful occasion (like a honeymoon), or a dreadful occasion? Well, love your wife the way that you want Christ to show favor to you when He returns.
  • Turn Your heart toward those of your children – Love your children. Care about the things that they are thinking, feeling, experiencing. Disciple them and train them toward righteousness and Godliness by your example first, but not neglecting your words.
  • Read the Bible, pray, memorize scripture – These are ways that you can be growing in your knowledge and understanding, so that you will be wise.
  • Fellowship with other believers – The church is a helper in your sanctification. Don’t neglect to be with other Christians.
  • Evangelize the Lost – You need to be faithful to God and share the most excellent thing that God has done for you – namely, He has forgiven your wretched soul from the penalty that you deserve… an eternity forever of burning in the lake of fire. You should be willing to extend that same love and concern for your neighbors as God facilitates opportunity and as you actively seek opportunity.
  • Walk by the Spirit – When God saved you, He gave you all of the Holy Spirit you need in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Without getting into any funkiness, you need to be turning from sinfulness and things that easily trip you up, and turn toward righteousness… this done not in a way thinking that this will justify you (it won’t), but remembering that because He saved you and granted precious promises to you, it is the least that you should do. If you actually love Jesus, it will look like obedience to His commands.
  • Delight in the Lord – It’s about to get really bad for many people. You could be a part of the ‘badness’ that is coming on the world leading up to the hours of his return. Regardless, you should be finding all of your joy, peace, happiness and contentment in Him, His will, His words, His work and His ways, doing all that you do with Love in your heart toward Him that shows itself in working for others to help them.

So, there you have it- these are the ways that I think it would be extremely helpful for you to be practicing and walking in should His return be sooner rather than later. By the way, these things are good if He return later as well. :)

 

Family Survival In a Disaster – Part 1: Overview (FSIAD1)

And now, for a serious note.

This post begins a series of posts of the types of things you will need to be aware of should a disaster strike your family or the world your family lives in, as well as helpful hints of things to keep in mind when the disaster strikes. We will begin a series of posts of things that you will want to make sure that you have ready before hand so that you are not floundering in the dark when the time comes to really shine. So, let’s get started – click this link to go to the page.

 

A New One…

I think we may be pregnant with baby number nine!

We are excited and looking forward to seeing what God will do through this child. I am happy, should we actually be pregnant, to welcome another child into our household.

That being said, and as part of my role of provision, I am considering undertaking a new phase in my career and that of generating the cash flow that comes into our family.

I invite you to respond if you would like to be a part of what I will tentatively call the “One Million Dollar Challenge”. Without cheapening any of the things that we value, I would like to see if anyone would be interested in joining me on a ‘quest’ to see if it is possible to earn $1 million within a year’s time. If you are interested, feel free to email me ( charlesmatthews777 at yahoo.com) with the subject line: “$1 Million Challenge”. If it doesn’t work, then at least we will have moved ‘down the road’ a bit more, for each of us, in all of our goals related to provision. If we do, then hopefully this will be an encouragement to all of us to be able to pay down much needed debt, or whatever it is that you would like to accomplish.

Please note that it doesn’t cost anything to be a part of this challenge… we are trying to make money- not lose it.

Join me as we seek to do this together, and God Bless You as you continue in your day today!

Best regards,

Charles Matthews